Couple finds a more than a century old gravestone

Posted in Articles, History, Law, New Media, United States on 2010-03-11 05:00Z by Steven

Couple finds a more than a century old gravestone

Beaumont Enterprise

Kyle Peveto

Beneath a tool shed behind her house, Mallary Sanders and her fiance found a 118-year-old piece of history they are begging someone to take.

Last weekend, Sanders’ fiance, Justin Trusty, 24, was cleaning beneath the pier-and-beam shed when he came across the intact gravestone of a woman who died in 1891.

He told Sanders, 23, he found something that “will scare you.”

“I wasn’t at all scared,” Sanders said. “I didn’t think there was a grave under there. Now, if I had felt weird about the house….”

The couple had no idea what to do with the stone.

“I just wanted it to go back to where it belongs,” Trusty said.

The gravestone stands about 2-feet tall and is specked with mud from lying flat on the ground. Carved marble reads: in memory of DELIEDE, wife of Wm Ashworth. Deliede died June 27, 1891, at 85, according to the gravestone…

…The Ashworth family name has a well-recorded history in Jefferson and Orange counties. During the Republic of Texas and after statehood, the mixed-race Ashworth family owned thousands of acres of land and large cattle herds in an area that did not welcome free people of color.

“What I thought was interesting was their ability to prosper in a place like Texas that made it illegal to be a free black,” said Jason Gillmer, a professor of law at Texas Wesleyan University who has studied the family…

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